How To Measure And Use Leaf Area Index

Prepare: Measuring leaf area is an important method in plant ecology and agricultural science. Leaf area index (LAI) is one of the most widely measured variables used to describe plant canopies and plant growth rates. In the past, measuring LAI was destructive because every leaf within a given area needed to be collected and measured. Today, there are a variety of simple and advanced methods that can be used to non-destructively estimate LAI.

Review: View the following videos and websites to learn about how LAI is measured and how it can be used in ecological, agricultural, and environmental studies.

Write: Your post will be based on the alphabetical order of your last names and should be between 250-300 words.

  • Everyone: Explain LAI and provide two examples of how it can be used in environmental research and management. Reference two scholarly or credible sources in addition to your textbook to develop your post. You are encouraged to review the recommended materials this week to help you develop knowledge on the methods and applications of LAI.
  • If your last name begins with the letters A through L, then review the video on measuring leaf area with Adobe Photoshop or Image J, and summarize the key points of the method to the class using your own words. Indicate the benefits and limitations of using this method. Use supporting examples to illustrate your points.
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